Saturday, July 28, 2012

Favourite Sorts Of Nurses

Everyone has their favourite nurses when staying in the NICU and for me, favourite types of nurse came in two different forms.

I loved the rule breakers. These are the nurses that will go that one step further. They put themselves on the line really. They say things that NICU nurses must surely never say, They talked about the day I would take Smidge  home, even when the future was looking uncertain. 

They share a little of themselves ...but not too much, not so much that I was left questioning their dedication to the most important thing in the world, My Smidge.

These sorts of nurses will conspire a little, but remain loyal to their team. They seemed to know the perfect balance between keeping my confidence and behaving like a human being. They raised their eyebrows in all the right places and come across as warm, personable and professional.

Then there are the clinical types. These sorts of nurses would see Smidge in the context of probability and variables. Not presenting as soft faced or warm hearted,  still they offered a strong sense of safety, making me feel that Smidge was in the very best of hands.

Each child they nursed, they did so with confidence. In some respects, it seemed they didn't need to do 'small talk' as their handling of the babies' along with the detailed descriptions of how their care was being managed was enough to alleviate any concerns. These sorts of nurses are efficient, communicative and very to the point. 

Smidge had over 150 nurses take care of her throughout her NICU stay and although my relationships with them were often characterised by an array of mixed emotions, each one bought something unique to the dynamic.

Who were your favourite nurses and why? 

Saturday, July 21, 2012

A Bit Of A Snivel

Well It's been two months now since our last big scare and despite my mammoth best efforts to  keep Smidge away from bugs and virus's, it hasn't worked.

I am aware how utterly ridiculous this next sentence is going to sound but...

*Smidge has a cold*

Settling her down to sleep last night, I knew I was in for a night of cot watching because it's the first time you see, since that time, that Smidge has gotten ill.

So when I awoke this morning to see a non-convulsing Smidge stood in a bi-pedal fashion, shouting 'Da!' and summonsing her father to retrieve her from the cot, I was both delighted and relieved.

Delighted because at the first sign of illness she wasn't doing her weird fitting thing and relieved because if she isn't doing that then maybe we can start getting our old life back.

Wait, maybe I'm getting over excited.

Maybe getting our old life back is a bit too keen.

This is what happened the last time we went and got all relaxed, and if there's one thing I've learned it's that too relaxed isn't good.

On the other hand, swing too much the other way and I end up making a complete arse of myself. Like last month when I rushed Smidge down to A&E.

The atmosphere in the car was one of complete dread. One -day Hubby, Mr G and I drove in deathly silence as we made our way to the hospital.

Being a young'un, Mr. G desperately tried to make lighten the conversation.

'Please, I'm not in the mood..' I stated grimly, my face one of complete fear and seriousness.

Making our way through the sliding doors, I announced our arrival, declaring with some certainty our fast track status. Smidge was seen by a doctor without delay.

After the examination the doctor looked up, his face a mixture of frustration and sympathy.

'It's not a tumour' he stated Blankly.

'What do you think it is then?' I say with a frantic look in my eye, begging him to put me out of my misery.

'It's her rib'


Looking up sheepishly,I quickly gather our belongings, apologising profusely whilst simultaneously making a speedy exit...

Why oh why can't I get the balance just right?!

I am like the adult that sits on a child's sea-saw,

I am the vinegar that swamps the chips..

But one day readers, I'll get the balance just perfect...

I'll be easy going in all the right places,

I'll know just the right moment to boo-hoo a G.P opinion.

One day, I'll look back and I'll  laugh and I'll say 'ha! I was scared of the common cold, Can you imagine?'

And I'll laugh all the way to the chemist.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Missing Out

It's a funny thing, how things change, how people change after they have faced a trauma. Take for example when I was in the NICU, I was so excited at the idea of bringing a baby home, I'd made plans, big plans..

I was going to have a party you know, invite all my friends and family to celebrate my miracle girl. There was going to be cake, gifts and bunting and everyone was going to tell me how beautiful she looked and how well she'd done, how well we'd all done.

But then two weeks before discharge a nurse took me to one side and told me that it was looking likely that my Smidge was going home on oxygen.

'Oxygen? she won't be going home on that..' I remarked, batting my eye lashes up and down repeatedly with a bemused look on my face.
Raising her eye brows slightly the nurse looked at me firmly and said 'Well you need to prepare yourself for that as a possibility'
'There is no need' I argued 'She won't be coming home on it, I just know it'

Coming home on oxygen? You don't even know how much I didn't want that. It didn't fit you see, with the bunting and the fairy cakes.

But what I didn't know then, was that the fairy cakes and Bunting didn't fit either because the welcome home party I envisaged was a far cry from what I was capable of, emotionally speaking.

A week at home and suddenly it occurred to  me, I had a vulnerable baby to look after. We couldn't have all those people in the house, what with all their germs!

What if the guests were so excited about the bunting and the fairy cakes that they thought a little snivel didn't matter?
What if they came expecting a glass of wine and good time all they got was a squirt of alco-gel and cross examination?

Better Cancel I thought, and One-day Hubby agreed.

But we've come a long way since those early days, or at least I thought we had, until this May, when everything changed.

See, in May, when Smidge had three unexpected hospital stays due to virus's, respiratory issues and febrile seizures it was like it set us back.

All the confidence I had gained and all the developmental benefits that were Smidge's were stolen from us in one horrid month.

And now it is like we are back there, bug watching, germ spotting and hand washing. We are the infection police again and risk assess our social contact and I don't want it to be this way but it so is this way.

When Smidge had her second seizure, I sat by and watched the doctors try for 25 minutes to stop her from  fitting. I then watched my unconscious child lie in a hospital cot hour on hour, oblivious to the world around her. And a usually crawling, usually chattering Smidge was a vacant,empty being and there was nothing I could do make her come to and realise I was there.

Once again, I was a powerless, scared and freaked out Mummy, unsure of how she'd been affected by this latest twist of fate. I had no control what so ever.

But *Good News People* Now I have the control again, Now I have the responsibility, and rightly or wrongly I just want to wrap her up in cotton wool and keep her really safe.

So we've stopped the baby groups she adored, the little sing song's she used to like to  go to. No more isthe park during peek hours  and we are back to asking guests if they are healthy, being mindful of supermarkets and being careful not to get lost down a country road with no phone signal.

Because as with the oxygen and fairy cakes, The high dependency unit, the hospital, it doesn't fit with my plans you see..

and as much as I love bunting, baby groups, and biscuits..

I love my Smidge more.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Just Passing.

I've just popped my head in to let you know I've done a guest post over at Not Even A Bag of Sugar today. She's off on holiday you see, (selfish woman) and has an array of fabulous guest posts lined up for the week... So do pop over and check out her fabulous blog and also get acquainted with some other Parent Bloggers who will be posting in that corner of cyber space of the course of the week.

Have a nice weekend x

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Perfect, Perfect Girl

Today is a day when I feel like celebrating all things that are Ace about my Smidge.
The thing is you see, there are times when this here Premmy Mum simply beams with pride to see her miracle girl doing so well but I don't often blog about these things because lets be honest it doesn't make for such good reading
Then then there are times like today when her sweetness is so overwhelmingly cute that I can not help but join in on a bit of positivity. So here have it, Ten Ace things I love about Smidge.

1.Her kindness. I love the way she shares her stuff with me, she's always bringing me her toys and showing them, she is a stickler for good manners mind you, always insisting I say 'ta' when I receive the goodies.

2.The way she pitches her tone really high when she see's something that amazes her. I have never heard the word 'dog!' said with such enthusiasm. (or so many times in a row) She loves nothing more than stumbling across a random four legged friend in the park.

3.The way she looks at me for encouragement when venturing in to something new. She always turns to me for that bit of reassurance before she goes fourth. I have been waiting years for someone to value my opinion and now finally it has happened! *Awesome*

4.Her love of books. I've never known such a small child enjoy books as much as Smidge does. She will happilly sit there for over an hour babbling giberish and turning the pages. Imagine what that does for my Earth Mother Status, Imagine!

5.Her willingness to put things away after her. Like most one year old's, she loves a good sort through, wheather it's the books on the book shelf, clothes from the draws or tupperware from the cupboard. Luckily for us she also puts things back afterwards.

6.She tells good jokes. I'm assuming they're good because she always laughs after she cracks one. She just needs to work on refining her speech a little so we can all get in on the punch line.

7.The way she takes pride in her own progress and prompts us to do the same. As soon as she's achieved or she  hears the words 'well done' she's straight in there with the applause, cheering herself or anyone else on. *That's the spirit*

8.Her ability to concentrate on the task at hand. This girl certainly has her Father's patience. She loves a challenge and doesn't give up easily.

9.Her gentle caring nature. She's very placid and attentive. I love the way she picks up her dolly and gives it a bottle and a kiss.

10.Her cuddley nature. Her hugs are so full of love and she rests her little head against me and I know I'm truly very blessed.

She really is my Perfect, Perfect Girl xx

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Pleasantries or Truth?

Did any one else notice when they were on the Neonatal Unit how much the other Mum's would tell the Nurses what a great job they were doing? I did...


 Great job? Are you kidding me? That's my job you've just stolen there, My job!

It's like when your disorganised, obnoxious, slightly less paid colleague gets promoted to manager,You're left shell shocked, dumb founded and alarmed. On the outside you're smiling and saying 'wow..congratulations' on the inside you're thinking that Moron couldnt arrange a **** up in a brewery.

It wasn't that they didn't do a good job.. the nurses, they did, mostly. But the pleasentaries were in my view overdone  and I could really only muster them up if there was no other option.. like if I had to leave Smidge after I'd dared to express how worried I was.

The old "It's not you, It's me" line was pulled out of the bag quite often post- insult, and when not over used goes a long way in these situations.

Let's say for example Smidge was having a bad day, She'd had clusters of apnoea's and no one knew why. I'd be feeling extra anxious . I'd be involuntarily zapped in to a vortex of fear and things that were usually just terrifying would become unthinkably scary. The usual calm stroll to the incubator mid-alarm would appear to me like some sort of egg and spoon race on replay or like Neil Armstrong landing on the moon for the very first time.

It was agonising to watch and I wanted to jump up there and then and shout 'Hurry the **** up, that's my Smidge turning blue..get your skates on lady' However, I learned (as all Mum's do) to curb these urges  and show some restraint, however sometimes, just sometimes I just couldn't ignore it... I couldn't just sit there and SAY NOTHING. So I'd say SOMETHING and then worry that I'd said TOO MUCH. That's when the 'It's not you it's me line' would come in to play. Followed by the ' You do such a great job'
* AKA  now I've got to leave my baby here with you, who I just insulted' *

So for the record then, do I think Neonatal Nurses work hard? Mostly Yes.

Did I mean it Every time I said they were doing a great job? Er, actually, no. :-/

(favourite nurses, you know who you are, and are exempt from these rambings)